CARY — Friday Night Lights are high school football's realm, but Cary Christian's boys soccer team is borrowing some of that atmosphere this year.
How about Tuesday night soccer, Thursday night soccer and even a Friday night soccer match when the football team is on the road?
"It's so much fun to play under the lights," said Cary Christian senior Colby Kanade. "It can get dark out here late in the second half. Playing under the lights is a big bonus. I didn't know if we get lights before I graduated. It's a blessing."
The Knights' game with Grace Christian started in late afternoon sunlight, but the lights were turned on for the second half after Cary Christian built a 3-0 lead with two goals from Kanade en route to a 3-1 victory Tuesday.
Weekday soccer games have been pushed back from 5 p.m. starts to 5:45, which allows more fans and parents to get off work and attend to the games.
Cary Christian played its first night football game on Aug. 24 under the new lights with much fanfare, but the soccer team didn't waste time taking advantage of the lights, too.
"Earlier in the season it allowed us to get out of the heat by starting later," said Cary Christian coach Brian Twidt. "Now it's nice to have the lights because it's getting dark earlier."
Twidt also said the Knights (10-3-1, 7-2) hope to get an opponent to agree to move one of their Thursday games to a Friday night when the football team is on the road. They would start the game at 6 or 7 pm.
"It would build a lot of excitement," Twidt said. "It would also be nice to play a game that isn't on a school night."
Cary Christian's victory followed a 4-0 win over Grace Christian earlier in the season. The two nearby schools are conference opponents in the Eastern Plains Independent Conference this year after Grace Christian switched leagues in the offseason.
Kanade's first goal came on an assist from sophomore Steven Rice in the 13th minute. It was the first of two assists by Rice, who also set up junior Jeremy Twidt on the Knights' third goal in the 38th minute.
"That was a beautiful pass from Steven," Kanade said. "He set me up on a silver platter. I couldn't have asked for a better pass. The credit goes to him."
Kanade's second goal came on a penalty kick in the 25th minute.
Grace Christian's goal in the second half was scored by Michael Taylor on a penalty kick in the 45th minute.
"They really know how to move the ball," Grace Christian (1-8, 1-4) coach Roman Pibl said of the Knights. "They're a well-coached team."